Mani Iyer

31 01 2009

I was a Hindu Brahmin by birth and I was careful to perform all the rites of y religion. As a young boy I had three main objectives- to see the real god, to hear him speak to me and to live a holy life. I followed all the hindu religious practices with great piety and devotion but only disappointment and emptiness filled my heart. As a devotee Hindu brahmin boy, I practiced all the religious customs and rituals of my religion with great zeal. while visiting temples and worshipping the idols there, I hoped blindly that the tender age of eleven and twelve I fasted three days a week. I also went on pilgrimage to temples such as sabarimalai with my father and relatives. Though I practiced all the rituals with devotion and enthusiasm, nothing realistic happened. Even after so much dedication and spending so many hours I all kinds of brahminical rituals, none of the gods and goddess gave me vision. Nor were they were able to deliver me from sins and give me the peace I was longing for. I was regular to the local temple and worked a pujari. I officiated as a temple priest from 6-7.30 pm everyday. Not only I stood before the idols with folded hands, but i also chanted the manthras and served those idols with great reverence and belief. In this manner I continued my worship with blind faith. Days and months rolled on, but I got no deliverance from my sins. I remained the same person enslaved by sinful thoughts and deeds. I decided to try more hard to live closer with gods I worshiped. So I became a member of hindu front add took active part in their activities, to my utter disappointment instead of knowing the way to overcome sinful attitudes, it made me more violent and a hardcore hindu fanatic. During this period I was actively involved in the propaganda against Christians. Even having had good training in yoga didn’t help me to control my mind and thoughts going into sinful ways. These happenings frustrated me and I lost all my hope to get myself out of the sinful life. At his juncture a good friend of mine told me about Jesus, whose love, compassion, humility, sinless holy life and miracles fascinated me. Therefore, I started reading the Bible. Some of the statements I found in the Bible took my faith. In particular, its teachings about idolatry and salvation were totally different from the teachings I had received from my guru and parents till then. Referring to the idols the Psalmist says “They have mouths but cannot speak, they have eyes but cannot see” (Ps. 115:5). My faith was rudely shaken by this statement. Several years I had been waiting for these idols to speak but never once did I hear them speak. I thought those idols will take care of me but in reality it was not, only I was taking care of them an carrying tem to perform my daily poojas. Even my friends who worship idols confessed that they had never heard any idols speak. I thought that perhaps there might be some truth in the bible verses, yet I continued my religious practices with a detached mind. the friend who told me about Jesus further said that Jesus is the only savior of mankind. he quoted the following passage from Bible “Salvation is found in no one else, except Jesus for there is no other name under heaven giving to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12) So far I thought that Jesus was one of the avatars, but my friend’s words gave me a rude shock. He told me very clearly that “Even Christians, if they don’t accept Jesus as their personal savior, would no enter the kingdom of Heaven” Though I understood the truth, I still continued my old religious practices. My friend read to me some of the prophecies from the old testament part of the Bible concerning Jesus and then he read passages from the New Testament of the Bible to prove how all the prophecies were fulfilled in the life of Jesus. One of he rituals that i practiced everyday was the chanting of the mantras. I read the tamil translation of the Rig Veda, which said very clearly that Jesus is the savior of mankind. Meaning of all the mantras clearly convinced me that Jesus is the only true and living god who ca save us from our sins. Earlier on I thought that living holy life was impossible. But the qualities of Jesus such as humility, love, honesty, truthfulness and holiness impressed me. I wanted to be like him and live a clean life. I inquired my friend how I could obtain such spiritual strength to live devoid of secret sins. He told me that it was possible if I accepted Jesus as my savior for it is he who delivers us from sins and strengthens us with his power to overcome all such sinful thoughts and deeds. Then I prayed “Dear Lord Jesus forgive all my sins and come into my heart” and accepted Jesus as my savior and a remarkable miracle took place in my life. A new experience of freedom, joy and peace given by Jesus filled my heart. I started reading Bible and it gave me more understanding of god. I went to church to worship and I took baptism and god anointed me with holy spirit. Some of my friends and relatives who heard about me accepting Jesus as my savior were enraged and asked me to return to the religion of my forefathers but I walked away from them. One evening a group of my old friends came and caught hold of me and asked me to deny Jesus and threatened to kill me. They poured me kerosene and were to burn me alive if I refuse to be an hindu again. But with the love of Christ in my hear I smiled at them and quietly turned down their demands. I thought that it may be the last day for me in this earth. I was sure that a glorious future was awaiting me in heaven. Just then something strange and wonderful happened. I saw a glorious vision. glorious vision and the sight of my friends standing near me with angry faces disappeared and I saw four young men walking in the midst of the fire. The fourth one was like Jesus and I saw Jesus standing by my side. Now I could see a change in my friends faces and they quietly walked out of the room. I sat there alone on the floor and praised God with tears filled my eyes. After this incident my parents allowed to go church and have fellowship with other believers in Christ and gave me full freedom to work for Lord Jesus. Now Jesus is using me as his servant to bless, heal and to bring out people from the hold of darkness in His mighty name. Dear friend, Jesus is the one and only way for your redemption from your sins, so repent and give your life to Lord Jesus Christ. I give all glory, honor and praise to Jesus alone. Amen!.

Source:http://www.churchofindia.org/maniiyer.htm accessed on January, 28th 2009


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